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The University of Southampton

Ambivalence about the Other Gender?s Identification

Men’s and Women’s responses to Strongly versus Weakly Identified Women and Men

Zoe Kinias
INSEAD, Singapore

This research explores the consequences of men’s and women’s beliefs about the other gender’s identification (how important men think being a woman is to women and how important women think being a man is to men). We assessed how women’s and men’s perceptions of each other’s gender identification influence their expectations for intergroup behavior and desire for interaction in personal and professional contexts. Two correlational studies and two experiments investigated (a) women’s beliefs that strongly identified men are higher in ambivalently sexist attitudes and men’s beliefs that strongly identified women hold ambivalent attitudes toward men; and (b) men’s and women’s desire for personal and professional interaction with strongly versus weakly identified members of the other gender group. Men and women prefer strongly identified members of the other gender group in personal, but not professional, contexts, and that this is due in part to expectations for benevolence and hostility.

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